Trivium’s Matt Heafy Discusses ‘Vengeance Falls,’ Working With David Draiman + More
Trivium‘s Matt Heafy was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this weekend. The frontman spoke with Jackie about the ‘Vengeance Falls’ album, working with producer David Draiman and he also shared a bit about his favorite eating places and workout routine. Check out Full Metal Jackie’s chat with Trivium’s Matt Heafy below.
It’s Full Metal Jackie. On the show with us this evening, Matt Heafy from Trivium. How’s it going, Matt?
2014 has been a busy year on the road. You guys have toured with Volbeat, played Seether’s Rise Above fest, and of course you’ve got Mayhem Festival this summer. Matt, does it ever feel surreal? Like, wow, we’re so fortunate to live this life.
It’s pretty insane. Someone was asking me the other day, we had to fill out a form for visas for going to Russia. One of the last three jobs I had before I was in Trivium, I’ve never done anything else besides this. I joined this band when I was 12. It was my first band and my first job. It took me 15 years but things are going really well now.
Your latest LP, ‘Vengeance Falls’ was produced by David Draiman from Disturbed. Matt, how did your relationship change from you being a fan once he became your working partner?
It was amazing. David took such good care of us. He became a mentor, a friend and a producer, a vocal coach, so much. When we weren’t being incredibly diligent and working regimented schedules in the studio, we were all just hanging out and doing the same thing. We all share the same love for food and hanging out, friends and family. It was a really great time. We all share the same humor, which was amazing. All five of us were always joking about the same stupid stuff. It’s great to have him as someone I was such a fan of as a kid, and still am, but someone that’s a friend now.
Now that fans have had a chance to really get familiar with ‘Vengeance Falls,’ what’s been the best compliment you’ve heard so far?
Whenever we play ‘Strife’ for example, the entire crowd sings the intro guitar part, Iron Maiden style. That’s one of the biggest compliments that could ever be given. A non-spoken compliment, just the fact that people are singing along like that. Every time I’ve ever seen Maiden and they go into ‘Fear of the Dark,’ or any of their songs where people sing the guitar parts which is pretty much all of them, I’ve always wanted that as a kid and to now have that on so many of our songs, especially our new songs, it’s amazing.
Matt, you were barely a teenager when Trivium started. You’ve grown up onstage over the course of the last 14 years or so. Personally and musically, what would surprise the 14-year-old you about Matt Heafy as an adult?
At 14, I was probably at my most extreme metal phase. I didn’t like anything with singing. I didn’t like any mainstream bands. I was only into black metal and thrash and anything that was popular, I wasn’t into it. Fourteen-year-old me, he probably wouldn’t get what’s going on now. He probably wouldn’t be as much of a fan of the melodies as I’m into now. It’s sort of what I grew into, being into things with melodicism. My favorite metal bands, I’ll always quote Iron Maiden and those bands have melody, things you can sing. Whether it’s guitar parts, drum parts of vocal parts. When I was at my most extreme back then, I wasn’t into that. I didn’t get that.
Now? I’m able to incorporate all of it. There are a lot of other peer bands of ours now a days that are kind of doing the same thing. Bands that came from an extreme background that are writing more anthemic songs that people across all musical spectrums can get. But, with us we still do inject our extreme metal backgrounds — death metal, black metal and melodic death metal — that’s a big part of our sound. I guess maybe it’s not seen as much when there’s singing on top of it, but it’s very much so there. The 14-year-old wouldn’t get where I’m at now.
Matt, your love for different and exotic food is pretty well known. What latest food discovery is now your favorite dish?
Let me look at my phone, there’s a place in Missoula, Montana, across the bridge from the Wilma Theater called The Hob Knob. It’s like a breakfast cafe, that place is awesome. We went there years ago, when we co-headlined here with All That Remains. I forgot what the name was, I just remember it was one of the best places I’ve been for breakfast. Me and Paolo [Gregoletto] were finally able to go there again today. They have these amazing huge hunks of corned beef hash with eggs and potatoes.
Yesterday in Seattle, after the show I got to meet with two of my really good friends and go to this place called Skillet Diner. It’s one of my favorites. If I ever opened a restaurant or had the money to do it, it would be that. It’s a cool diner. A modern looking diner. After the show I had poutine, macaroni and cheese with bacon jam, melted with chicken and waffles. So it’s not real healthy, obviously.
You’re making me hungry! You do yoga, always doing healthy stuff. You can probably eat whatever you want and don’t gain a pound.
I do [gain weight] if I’m not really regimented. I try to exercise at least six days a week, if not seven days. My new love in life is Brazilian jiu-jitsu. When I’m home it’s six days a week, 90 minutes a day. The seventh day will be either yoga or running. Any day I can’t do jiu-jitsu on tour it’s either Yoga or weight lifting, or running. It’s six days a week to keep up with my eating habits.
See Trivium all summer long on the Mayhem Festival that kicks off July 5 out in San Bernardino, Calif. Matt, really appreciate you being on the show and I’ll definitely see you real soon.
Our thanks to Trivium’s Matt Heafy for the interview. You can pick up the band’s ‘Vengeance Falls’ album on Amazon and iTunes. And you can look for them on the Mayhem Festival at these locations. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.